This week we are focusing on small, sustainable changes that you can make to support and strengthen your gut health. Here are five tips from our Kurami nutritionist that can support you in your journey to a healthier gut microbiome.
Quit Smoking & Vaping
It is not surprising that smoking kills the good gut bugs. This is an important reminder however, as vaping has become significantly more popular even among those who previously did not smoke.
Explore Tea Beyond English Breakfast
You often hear about increasing the plant-based varieties in your diet to benefit your gut. What many people don’t realise is that herbs and spices also count as plants. Since tea can be made of a wide range of herbs, aim to drink more teas with different herbal mixes to help the different populations of the good gut bacteria grow.
Limit Antibiotic Use Only When Really Necessary
You should, of course, listen and trust your doctor in a given situation. However, do keep in mind that insisting on an antibiotic prescription when there may be another way out may not be as beneficial as you think. Although antibiotics may in certain cases be absolutely necessary and help you heal quicker, in other situations, it may be better to be more patient and have a few extra days of symptoms if antibiotics can be avoided. This is because, as the name suggests, antibiotics are anti-bacteria. They kill the good, as well as the bad bacteria and it can take a while to restore all the good gut bugs after a course of antibiotics. Make sure you pay particular attention to prebiotic and probiotic foods in your diet during and after taking antibiotics. Do not forget polyphenols - you can get lots of different ones by aiming for a rainbow on the plate.
No human microbiome is the same, even if you have an identical twin. As animals have even more distinct gut bugs from humans, owning a pet or two can increase the overall bacteria diversity in the household, positively impacting the diversity in your gut too. This is equally great for the immunity of growing kids and for adults and elderly.
Spending time outdoors is great for so many reasons, as it gets you moving, absorbing some vitamin D in the summer months and doing your gut microbiome a favour. Gardening is just one example of how you get tick all these points, aside from making your garden look aesthetically pleasing. When it comes to gut health, digging your hands in the mud helps to expose yourself to new types of bacteria, not found indoors.